The desired output of a good project planning stage is to produce a clear and shared understanding of the future project activities and agreed action plan.
Having established and presented, in the project brief, the start and end points for the project, it is a good idea to break this down into clearly identifiable tasks. The use of creative thinking at this stage to discover innovative ways of delivering these tasks and to make the design or redesign improvements that are required.
For each task, produce a list of all the activities required to deliver it. This is often called an action plan.
A detailed schedule should emerge from this process of planning. But keep it simple and remember the important thing is to produce a list of activities stating the who, what and when for each activity. e.g . activity example:
What (& where)
Prepare food menu and deliver to charity
by 1pm on 31st Jan 2020
Tools for you to research further on your own include: action plan, two steps down, 30/60/90 day cycles, brainstorming, Six Thinking Hats®, using an affinity diagram, driver diagrams.
Having produced an action plan, the next stage is to put some target dates against these actions and decide who undertakes them. This provides a scheduled plan. It may be helpful to convert this into a format that all participants can easily see. This should clearly state key milestones for the project.
This may be done in a MS Word document or, if you prefer, the plan can be captured in another electronic format – for example, in project management software. Using software like this may make the plan appear complicated so make sure you have a simple visual version for those who do not need to see the detail. Share this scheduled plan with the individuals involved in the project on a regular basis to ensure the project stays on track.
What the project team will be expecting is a task list with who, what and when. The how of the task will be down to the specialist that’s appointed to perform the task.